Shibuya Parco sunset1/4
Photo: Lim Chee Wah
Yuyake Dandan staircase, Yanaka Ginza2/4
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Odaiba Seaside Park sunset3/4
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
Cerulean Tower sunset4/4
Photo: Jessica Thompson

7 best places to watch the sunset in Tokyo

From rooftops in Shibuya to parks in Odaiba and Meguro, the city is full of free, scenic spots to see the sun go down

By Jessica Thompson
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Watching the spectacle of a Tokyo sunset is a moment of calm in the bustle of city life, as well as a great way to explore new areas around the city. From spacious parks to high-rise rooftops, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places for sunset-chasing – most are free, and some will even grant you a majestic view of Mt Fuji on a good day. Wherever you choose to go, make sure you head there at least half an hour before the sun sets to make the most of the dusk.

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See Tokyo in a new light

Shibuya Parco sunset
Shibuya Parco sunset
Photo: Lim Chee Wah

Shibuya Parco

Shopping Shibuya

The renovated Shibuya Parco pops with things to do, from the kaleidoscope of restaurants in Chaos Kitchen, through the levels of cutting-edge fashion, gaming parlors and galleries to a rooftop that offers spectacular sunset views. The expansive deck is ringed by gardens and benches for sitting, with a central undercover area, Commune (the sibling of Commune Omotesando), that features small vendors selling drinks and casual food like tacos.

You can get a great view of the open sky from anywhere on the deck, but for the prime spot, head down past Commune to the back of the rooftop. Here, you’ll be able to watch the sun dip down behind the grand highrises of Tokyo in a surprisingly serene setting, leaving a lingering wash of peachy colours.

Meguro Sky Garden sunset
Meguro Sky Garden sunset
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

Meguro Sky Garden

Museums Ikejiri-Ohashi

The New York Highline set the standard for turning an industrial thoroughfare into a public park and Meguro Sky Garden follows suit, with 7,000sqm of parkland above the intersection of two major expressways.

Constructed in 2013 in Ikejiri-Ohashi, just one stop from Shibuya on the Denentoshi Line, the garden occupies a circular plot of land that rises between 15 and 25 metres above street level. Paths wind through beautifully landscaped gardens, past a community vegetable plot and there are large lawns perfect for picnicking (heads up: there’s no canteens, so you’ll need to bring all the essentials). The park offers a superb view west to Setagaya and beyond and is a wonderful place to bask in the sunset – on a clear day, you’ll even be treated to a view of Mt Fuji.

To access Meguro Sky Garden, look for the elevator next to the post office and take it to the ninth floor, or you can take the staircase beside the Life supermarket and follow the path to the top. Afterwards, take a 15-minute stroll from the Sky Garden to Nakameguro along the river – you’ll find plenty of cafés and boutiques.

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Saigoyama Park sunset
Saigoyama Park sunset
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Saigoyama Park, Daikanyama

Things to do Ikejiri-Ohashi

The Daikanyama neighbourhood is best known for its stylish architecture, upmarket boutiques, and affluent residents with well-dressed small dogs. Less well known is the secluded Saigoyama Park off the main street, Kyuyamate-dori, a nine-minute walk from Daikanyama Station. Don’t expect the manicured lawns of a traditional Japanese garden – the park is left a little wild, a welcome contrast to the sophisticated surroundings, which creates a relaxed feel, making the area great for kids and pets.

Take a seat and admire the glorious sunset views – unobstructed overhead vistas of Nakameguro and beyond. Keep an eye out for Mt Fuji, too. Head down the staircase to Nakameguro after, or explore more of Daikanyama, including the local branch of Tsutaya Books and Spring Valley Brewery.

Yuyake Dandan staircase, Yanaka Ginza sunset
Yuyake Dandan staircase, Yanaka Ginza sunset
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Yuyake Dandan staircase, Yanaka Ginza

Things to do Nippori

This is a sunset spot with a distinctly old-world vibe. Yanaka is a charming historic district in the northeast of Tokyo, known for its old buildings, quaint winding alleyways and the retro Yanaka Ginza shopping street, which dates back to the 1940s. To the north of the shopping street, the Yuyake Dandan (‘sunset staircase’ in Japanese) is a famous feature of the area.

A position at the top of the staircase will grant you a magnificent sunset view. You’ll get a glimpse of an older, slower-paced Tokyo through the illuminated arch announcing the entrance to Yanaka Ginza, with the scattering of shops full of locals, aglow in the light from the setting sun. Head over an hour or so before sunset to explore the area and make the most of the casual street eats.

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Odaiba Seaside Park sunset
Odaiba Seaside Park sunset
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

Odaiba Seaside Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Odaiba

The coastal green space of Odaiba Seaside Park is the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon stroll, capped off with a photogenic sunset. Here, your sweeping sunset view across Tokyo Bay will encompass the dense skyscrapers of the city skyline, Rainbow Bridge stretching its enormous steel limbs across the waters, the Odaiba Statue of Liberty, and the sparkle of lights from the houseboats chugging along the bay.

The whole scene is reflected in the water, making it feel even more cinematic. There are plenty of shops, galleries, hot springs, and places to eat nearby, so you can turn the sunset expedition into a longer day trip.

Futako-Tamagawa Park sunset
Futako-Tamagawa Park sunset
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Futako-Tamagawa Park

Things to do Kaminoge

Futako-Tamagawa Park beside the Tama River is just eight minutes’ walk from the station. The large park is perfect for families with kids or pets, and for anyone looking for a peaceful sunset spot.

The open banks facing the river are slightly inclined, and it’s here that you can get a picturesque view of the sunset over Tokyo – on a clear day, you’ll be able to see Mt Fuji in the distance. There are plenty of benches in the park, as well as grassy plots to throw down a blanket. Or, if you’re the jogging type, head for the track along the river to soak up the sunset.

If you can, it’s worth coming a little earlier to spend some time exploring the rest of the park. Don’t miss the on-site Kishin-en Gardens, featuring a 110-year-old Japanese house and a traditional Japanese landscape garden, complete with ponds and stone paths.

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Cerulean Tower sunset
Cerulean Tower sunset
Photo: Jessica Thompson

Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel

Hotels Shibuya

Up on the 40th floor of Cerulean Tower is Bar Bellovisto, where you can see sunset with a cocktail in hand. The large windows in the reception room have a great view, or you can head to the bar to toast the coming dusk. Jazz plays overhead, bartenders in three-piece suits make mean martinis, and you can get 180-degree views of Tokyo.

There are several vantage points for sunset, all with their own perks – on the west side, private rooms offer a direct view of the sun going down, while at the seats in the lounge facing north, you can see sunset reflected in the Shibuya Scramble building and enjoy the lush greenery of Yoyogi Park. The bar between the two areas offers a panoramic view featuring the western sunset and the rest of the vast metropolis.

And the best part is, before 7pm, there’s no seating charge (from 7pm, the seating charge is ¥1,540).

More places to get a view of Tokyo

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